Fix 'Song Not Encoded Properly' Error Sonos PLAY:3

Introduction

One error you can run into with your Sonos system is "Song Not Encoded Properly".

While this tends to be a problem with the media itself, there are a few things you can check to get your music playing again quickly.

Sonos.

1 Supported Audio Formats

Sometimes, problems playing files can come from a file encoded in a way the Sonos speaker system does not understand.

Supported Media Formats

Local Media Library

File Format Maximum Bitrate Maximum Audio Sample Rate
WMA - Windows Media Audio 355kbps 48000 Hz, 16 bit
MP3 - MPEG Audio Layer III 320kbps
AAC - Advanced Audio Coding
OGG - Ogg Vorbis
FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec 1411kbps
ALAC - Apple Lossless Audio Codec
AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format
WAV - Waveform Audio File Format

Streaming Media

There are some special considerations when you're streaming audio to your speaker.

  • iOS
    • Only supports DRM-Free AAC, and MP3 formats for streaming
    • AAC files can only be as high as 44100 Hz, not 48000 Hz
  • Android
    • Does not support streaming WMA, AIFF, or ALAC
  • Internet Radio
    • Only supports MP3, AAC, and WMA formats

? Are the music files you're trying to play compatible with your Sonos?

  1. Yes
  2. No

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One error you can run into with your Sonos system is "Song Not Encoded Properly".

While this tends to be a problem with the media itself, there are a few things you can check to get your music playing again quickly.

Sonos.

Sometimes, problems playing files can come from a file encoded in a way the Sonos speaker system does not understand.

Supported Media Formats

Local Media Library

File Format Maximum Bitrate Maximum Audio Sample Rate
WMA - Windows Media Audio 355kbps 48000 Hz, 16 bit
MP3 - MPEG Audio Layer III 320kbps
AAC - Advanced Audio Coding
OGG - Ogg Vorbis
FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec 1411kbps
ALAC - Apple Lossless Audio Codec
AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format
WAV - Waveform Audio File Format

Streaming Media

There are some special considerations when you're streaming audio to your speaker.

  • iOS
    • Only supports DRM-Free AAC, and MP3 formats for streaming
    • AAC files can only be as high as 44100 Hz, not 48000 Hz
  • Android
    • Does not support streaming WMA, AIFF, or ALAC
  • Internet Radio
    • Only supports MP3, AAC, and WMA formats

The Sonos sound system plays audio from a multitude of sources. They are grouped in the following kinds:

  • Radio stations and on demand music or podcasts from online music services
  • Audio files from computers, mobile devices or other networked storage

If you're having trouble listening to a music service there are a couple things for you to try:

  • Check if an outage has been reported for the music service you're using.
    To check for outages, visit:
    https://status.sonos.com/
  • Attempt playing music from another online music service and compare how the music services are performing.
Try again later when the services are back up.
PlayStation Network showing online

Check if other devices on the same network are having the same connectivity issue. This applies to situations when:

  • You are unable to connect to a Wi-Fi network:
    • Try connecting to the same Wi-Fi network with other devices.
  • You have no internet access or you have slow or intermittent connectivity:
    • Try loading webpages, watching online videos, listening to online music or playing an online game with other devices connected to the same network, preferably through an Ethernet connection.
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds
  1. Unplug the power cable from your Sonos device and wait 30 seconds.
    Unplugging power cord from speaker
  2. Plug the power cable back into your Sonos device. Allow up to two minutes for it to boot up and connect to the network.
    Plugging power cord back into speaker
  3. Once connected to the network, the light on the top of your Sonos device should light up a solid white color.
    Indicator light on top of speaker
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Wireless signal interference can cause performance issues such as slow or intermittent connections and even complete disconnects. This type of interference can be caused by the presence of:

  • Electromagnetic fields created by other electronic devices such as: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capable devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, remote controlled toys, microwave ovens, seasonal lighting, or even garage door openers.
  • Structural materials in walls, floors, furnishings or other large objects. The potential for structural materials in your home to absorb wireless signal and cause signal loss or undesirable behavior is as follows:

    Interference Potential Type of Material
    Low Synthetic material, wood, glass
    Medium Brick, marble, water
    High Concrete, plaster
    Very High Metal

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other electronic devices:

  1. Turn off temporarily any of the above devices and check if the issue persists.
  2. If it does, consider moving the affected device or any of the other devices further from the affected device.
  3. Alternately, if possible, you can select different wireless channels in the devices' configuration. Consult the devices' manufacturers documentation for details on how to make those changes.

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other objects or structures:

  1. Move the affected device or any obstacles if possible and check if the issue persists.
  2. If the device is in a cabinet or closet, consider taking it out.
Ensure the computer, phone, tablet or network attached storage (NAS) device that contains the music tracks is powered on and connected to your Wi-Fi network.

If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power
  1. Unplug the power cord from your router.
    Router with unplugged power cable
  2. Ensure that all the lights went off.
  3. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  4. Plug the power cord back into your router.
  5. Wait up to a minute for the connections to be re-established.
    Wait 60 Seconds

The device needs to be within a reasonable range of the router in order to connect and have the best connection speeds.

  • In general, in most homes, you can be up to 30 feet from your router for a decent connection.
  • From 30' to 50' away, the speeds will be slower, and may drop occasionally, but it should be usable.
  • Greater than 50' away, and the signal will most likely be too weak to overcome interference. The speeds will be slow, and the connection may be sporadic.

The above numbers are approximates only. Optimal range may vary based on router make and model.

Wireless signal interference can cause performance issues such as slow or intermittent connections and even complete disconnects. This type of interference can be caused by the presence of:

  • Electromagnetic fields created by other electronic devices such as: Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capable devices, cordless phones, baby monitors, remote controlled toys, microwave ovens, seasonal lighting, or even garage door openers.
  • Structural materials in walls, floors, furnishings or other large objects. The potential for structural materials in your home to absorb wireless signal and cause signal loss or undesirable behavior is as follows:

    Interference Potential Type of Material
    Low Synthetic material, wood, glass
    Medium Brick, marble, water
    High Concrete, plaster
    Very High Metal

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other electronic devices:

  1. Turn off temporarily any of the above devices and check if the issue persists.
  2. If it does, consider moving the affected device or any of the other devices further from the affected device.
  3. Alternately, if possible, you can select different wireless channels in the devices' configuration. Consult the devices' manufacturers documentation for details on how to make those changes.

To reduce wireless signal interference caused by other objects or structures:

  1. Move the affected device or any obstacles if possible and check if the issue persists.
  2. If the device is in a cabinet or closet, consider taking it out.
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